One of the issues that Islam has given a lot of importance to is the unity of the Islamic nation, and in order to protect and maintain the continuation of this unity, a special program has been laid out; and one of the specialties of this program is Salatul Jama’at.
In Salatul Jama’at, a person who holds certain qualifications, stands in front of the congregation, and others line up in an organized fashion behind him, and together they recite the Salat. The person who stands up in front of the Jama’at, to lead the others in Salat is called the Imam of Jama’at, and the people who are behind him, and are following him in Salat are called the Ma’moom.
Importance of Salatul Jama’at
What has been mentioned continuously in the hadith about Salatul Jama’at is that it holds a great reward. We will now go into some of the rules of this very important act of worship, and point out some of the finer points related to it.
Conditions for Salatul Jama’at
Connecting or Joining in Salatul Jama’at
But if the Salat is three or four Rak’at, then in the second Rak’at, which would be the third Rak’at of the Imam, the Surah al – Fatiha and the second Surah must be read (even if the Imam is reading the Tasbihat), and when the Imam of the Jama’at finishes his third Rak’at and stands up for his fourth Rak’at, the Ma’moom, after the two Sajdahs must recite the Tashahhud, and then stand up for his third Rak’at. In the final Rak’at of the Salat, when the Imam of the Jama’at reads the Tashahhud and Salam to finish the Salat, one must stand up and recite one more Rak’at.
• In Ruku’: The Ruku’ is performed with the Imam of the Jama’at, and the rest of the Salat is performed as was previously mentioned.
• Third Rak’at
• During the Qira’at: In the event that one knows that if one joins the Jama’at, there will be enough time to recite Surah al – Fatiha and the second Surah, or even sufficient time to recite Surah al – Fatiha alone, then one is allowed to join the Jama’at, and one must read al – Fatiha and the second Surah or at least Surah al – Fatiha. However, if knowing that one does not have the ability to read the Surahs, then according to Ihtiyat Wajib, one must be patient until the Imam of the Jama’at goes into Ruku’, and then join the Salat.
• In Ruku’: In the event that one wants to join during Ruku’, the Ruku’ must be performed with the Imam, and the recitation of al – Fatiha and the second Surah is dropped, and the rest of the Salat will be performed, as was previously explained.
• Fourth Rak’at
• During the Qira’at: This has the same ruling as joining in the third Rak’at. Therefore, when the Imam of the Jama’at is sitting in his final Rak’at getting ready to recite the Tashahhud and Salam, according to Ihtiyat Wajib, the Ma’moom must sit up partially (as was explained previously) and wait until the Tashahhud and the Salam of the Imam of the Jama’at are finished, and then get up (and continue with his Salat).
• In Ruku’: The Ruku’ and the Sajdahs are performed with the Imam (at this point the fourth Rak’at of the Imam will be the first Rak’at of the Ma’moom), and then the rest of the Salat will be performed, as was previously explained.